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Posted at 11:20 PM ET, 08/12/2010

Quieter night ahead, still more rain for some

By Capital Weather Gang

*** Storm impacts, power outages & more: ***
* Flash Flood Warnings far N/NE/E suburbs (see map below) *
* Where did wild morning storms come from? *

11:20 p.m. update: The weather just won't quit today, soon to be tomorrow. A narrow line of barely moving showers, some heavy, is straddling the Montgomery County/Howard County border and stretches northwest into eastern and northern portions of Frederick County, while additional slow-moving and heavy showers are affecting a large portion of Anne Arundel County and northward through Baltimore. Flash Flood Warnings are in effect for both of these areas until as late as 2 a.m. From the National Weather Service: "BE ESPECIALLY CAUTIOUS AT NIGHT WHEN IT IS HARDER TO RECOGNIZE THE DANGERS OF FLOODING."

Even though most other parts of the area are rain-free for the time being, we urge you to remain cautious around the area and not to drive through flooded roadways. Turn around, don't drown.

Tomorrow will bring additional chances for showers, with perhaps a rumble or two, but it should be much more benign than today as highs rise into the low-and-mid 80s under mostly cloudy skies.

Monitor severe warnings issued by the National Weather Service and radar on our Severe Weather Tracking Station below. Also, keep reading reading for earlier updates and comment with conditions where you are. And see our full forecast through early next week.

Severe Weather Tracking Station
Warning Text: DC | MD | VA * NWS Local Storm Reports
Radar & Lightning: Movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here to see radar bigger.
LWX Warnings
Warnings: Severe alerts from National Weather Service. Updates w/o refresh (most browsers). Hint: Alert on map? Click matching label in key for details.

7:25 p.m. update: The band of strong to severe storms that pushed through this evening is now exiting to the south while some lighter rain continues in spots. Both the Flash Flood Warning and Severe Thunderstorm Watch have been trimmed. The former now covers southern portions of the immediate D.C. metro area while the latter has (or will soon be) completely discontinued around here. There is additional shower and thundershower activity to our north that may swing this direction heading into tonight. Rain may still fall heavily at times, but the severe weather threat should be over. Lows reach near 70 to the mid 70s.

6:35 p.m. update: All the warnings except the Flash Flood Warning have been discontinued as storms have weakened just a bit. One storm just west of Alexandria remains close to severe levels though, so it is possible that some locations could still see isolated wind damage. Overall, it looks like things will begin to finally quiet down soon. One hour rainfall totals as high as 1"+ are still possible as the storms move south of D.C. and impact the western half of the area with the worst.

5:55 p.m. update: Intense storms in central Montgomery county are about 5-15 minutes from the northern side of the beltway as well as northern Fairfax and Loudoun counties and 20-30 minutes from moving inside the District. These storms have a history of producing damaging winds in Frederick county. While doppler radar had indicated rotation in these storms prompting tornado warnings earlier, they do not appear to be rotating at this time. Nonetheless, these storms may produce damaging winds in southern Montgomery, the District and Loudoun and Fairfax counties as they sink south.

A Flash Flood Warning is also now in effect for the immediate metro area.The National Weather Service cautions:


5:25 p.m. update: Severe thunderstorms are moving into the metro area from the north and a Tornado Warning has been extended into central Montgomery County through 6 p.m. Additionally, very strong winds are showing up on radar entering into the northern part of MoCo and headed almost due south. Folks in the area of Damascus, Germantown and Olney should take cover immediately. Even if no tornado touches down, damaging winds and additional power outages are likely. These storms, all capable of causing wind damage, should be nearing the northern Beltway between 6 and 6:30 p.m.

4:55 p.m. update: A new line of storms approaching from the north has prompted a Tornado Warning now extending into northern Montgomery County and western Howard County until 5:15 p.m. A much wider area associated with this line is under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning spanning Frederick and Carroll counties. This entire line, although it may break up a bit at some point, is expected to move north to south through the metro area over the next 1.5 hours or with the potential strong to severe winds and heavy rain. Fortunately, at least so far, lighting doesn't appear to be as intense with this batch as this morning's. But some dangerous cloud-to-ground strokes are still likely.

4:25 update: A line of fierce storms near the Mason Dixon line is intensifying and heading southeast. A tornado warning was just issued for northeast Frederick and northwestern Carroll county in Maryland until 5 p.m. We will have to keep a very close eye on these storms as they head southeast towards the north and northeast part of the metro region.

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 9 p.m. for the area, though it looks likely that the main severe threat around here will wane before that.

4:00 update: A cluster of storms - some severe -- continue rumbling through central and southern Fairfax county and Prince William county. These storms will move into southern Prince George's county and Charles county in the next 30 minutes. Further south, severe storms are also impacting southeast Stafford county where a Tornado Warning was just issued until 4:45 p.m. -- which includes the city of Fredericksburg. Take cover immediately if you live in that area which includes east central Spotsylvania county and King George county.

3:20 p.m.: Strong to severe thunderstorms continue to impact the western half of the area. The worst storm is now moving into and through Fairfax and Prince William counties on a southeast heading. Additional storms have fired up to the south and southwest of this storm, but not as much to the east or north thus far. Locations that get in on these storms in the next hour or so can expect isolated damaging winds to around 60 mph along with very heavy rain, lightning, and perhaps some hail. Lighter rain should move through some places along and just east of the Potomac river near and north of D.C.

2:50 pm:Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, and Fairfax counties are now under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning as a large thunderstorm moves southeast across that portion of the area. Places which can expect to be impacted soon include Arcola and Dulles Airport. Storms are scattered and largely focused in spots which did not see much action this morning.

2:15 pm: The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma is highlighting the likelihood of more severe thunderstorms this afternoon. Torrential rain, damaging winds and hail are once again a possibility. We imagine a Severe Thunderstorm Watch could be issued at any moment.

These storms could impact the D.C. metro region for the afternoon/evening commute. At the moment, the most intense action looks like it may be on track to be slightly south and west of this morning's action. Stay tuned for additional updates on these storms as they come closer.

By Capital Weather Gang  | August 12, 2010; 11:20 PM ET
Categories:  Alerts  
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Next: NatCast: Clouds not too worrisome


It seems like the majority of summer storms in DC slam the outter suburbs but then break up by the time they get to the inner ring and the city itself; I think that's part of what made this morning's storm so remarkable.

Will this storm follow the same path as this morning, plowing most of its force into urban Maryland and DC?

Posted by: MattinSilverSpring | August 12, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Swell, more storms. The current batch looks as if they are bound to the Virginia side of the Potomac. Is this correct? I ask because I feel that Rockville, MD. has already received its share of horrible storms today. Not that I have anything against Virginia, just trying to share the wealth.

Posted by: authorofpoetry | August 12, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

So what you're saying is to get the flashlights that I packed away this morning back out?

Posted by: georgieporgie1 | August 12, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Was there ever a watch issued this morning? Did things just evolve to quickly to issue a watch? (Basically I'm asking about the typical process in deciding when to issue a watch)

Posted by: CM_in_Fairfax | August 12, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Most of the line this morning was not severe, just the tail end that went over us. A watch was issued to our southeast after it passed.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | August 12, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Here comes round 2, this time it's Virginia's turn.

Posted by: rwalker66 | August 12, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"At the moment, the most intense action looks like it may be on track to be slightly south and west of this morning's action."

Swell. It looks like it's making a beeline for Fairfax City. I'm getting it coming and going.

At least I'll be going home...

Posted by: MKoehl | August 12, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

So you're saying maybe Silver Spring will be spared?! I'd like to give Pepco plenty of opportunity to fix my power before they have to jet down to VA to fix everyone else's after this next storm! Storms are all fun and games until you lose power and your freshly purchased groceries start going bad...

Posted by: CuseFan07 | August 12, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse


Just tweeted: "MoCo: Good news -- the worst of the current line of storms should miss to the south."

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | August 12, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

The severe storms of recent weeks have not been missing NW D.C., where I live.

This morning there was a muddy torrent washing down the street, a bus route had to be realigned because of a fallen tree, etc.

And when it rains, it roars.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | August 12, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Let's make a wheel for spinning. Spin the wheel, choose whose subregion's turn it is to get FUBARed. This afternoon looks like Western Fairfax, Prince William, and Faquier.

Posted by: JefffromHuntington | August 12, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Skies just opened up in Herndon, but no thunder or lightning. The sky is also still fairly light. Nothing compared to this morning...yet.

Posted by: HokieTerp | August 12, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Getting slammed in Manassas.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | August 12, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Adams Morgan just lost power. No storm here.. the power outages are just following me!

Posted by: CuseFan07 | August 12, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I can hear rumbles of thunder in east Manassas but no rain yet.

Posted by: manassasmissy | August 12, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

again, I know it's unofficial, but my home made rain gauge in northern Prince William has over 4 inches of rain in it. Culverts by the road are running like rivers, creeks are almost over their beds, lawn has lakes in it. Bigger than last Thursday, at least as far as flash flooding.

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | August 12, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Thunder and extremely dark clouds just to the West of Lake Ridge.. Heavy rain is about to hit..

Posted by: ZmanVA | August 12, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Getting pounded here in Lake Ridge.. Heavy rain, wind, lightning, and thunder.. the works..

Posted by: ZmanVA | August 12, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

NatCast? The most recent one I see was issued at 5:00 a.m. before the skies opened. And if I follow the link at the top of the weather page, I get yesterday's.

Posted by: lhaller | August 12, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

According to the map, we've been getting moderate to heavy rain here in western Alexandria, but I haven't seen a drop yet!

Posted by: dottie_b | August 12, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Not looking so good here in downtown DC...

Posted by: eabgarnet | August 12, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

This I can't believe - my lawn service just came and is cutting the grass!

Dottie in western Alexandria

Posted by: dottie_b | August 12, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Planning on going to the Nats game tonight and the Nats Cast from 5:00am says a 20% chance of rain tonight. Any changes to that? The storms look like they'll move through in the next hour or two but I can't tell if something's coming behind that to interfere after the game starts at 7:00pm

Posted by: NatsPhan123 | August 12, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Finally some more much needed rain here in Spotsy., wind isn't bad, so I get the rain - the wind.

Posted by: VaTechBob | August 12, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Are these huge storms happening because of the excessive heat? I've lived in the area for 10+ years and do not remember such massive storms happening so frequently. Will we see an end to them as the heat diminishes (hopefully soon)? Living pioneer-style without power is getting old.

Posted by: anelsen2 | August 12, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

If you want a wider view to see what else might be coming, type in another town in the region, and you'll get a wide-angle view of the map. I use Chincoteague, VA.

Posted by: dottie_b | August 12, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Yay for VATechBob! Your rain time has finally come.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | August 12, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse


The next batch moving toward the area from the north probably makes it through before game time. But there's still the potential for showers and storms through evening. Probably more like 30-40% than the 20% from the earlier NatCast.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | August 12, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse


Not sure there's really a correlation between the excessive heat we've seen and the big storms. You can get plenty big storms with near-average heat as opposed to this summer's extreme heat. Much of it has probably been luck of the draw. That is, if you widen your view to maybe a 150-mile radius or so from D.C., we probably haven't had a terribly unusual amount of severe events. They've just happened to focus in or very close to the D.C. metro area.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | August 12, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Nothing new in Poolesville. We missed this morning's rain to the north, missed this afternoon's rain to the south, which has been the story of our summer.

Now there is a line moving north to south that looks like it will affect most of Frederick County and Montgomery but possibly miss us.

Posted by: MKadyman | August 12, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

So is MoCo going to get slammed by this next round or what? Cowering here in AdMo (don't you love the abbreviations?) trying to figure out what to do with myself. Need batteries, no power here... no power at home... fridge full of rotten food...

Posted by: CuseFan07 | August 12, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Rotation on the torn warn to the north is pretty broad. I'd be surprised if it was reaching the ground at this time.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | August 12, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Answered my own question as MoCo has now been tornado warned. I could cry.

Posted by: CuseFan07 | August 12, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Forever in history this day shall be remembered as......STORM DAY 2010

Here comes round 3.....from the north

MoCo, if your power is back on from this morning's storms, well prepare for it to go back out again.

Posted by: rwalker66 | August 12, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

@ Ian: Agreed, but WOW! What a pronounced velocity couplet!

Posted by: Sterlingva | August 12, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

... I guess no one else thinks it's cool, ha ha. I'm now under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning in Sterling, and am hoping for the line to hold together: I had to cancel a kayaking outing after work today because of these t'storms. Might as well make it worth it!

Posted by: Sterlingva | August 12, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Called a friend in Damascus about 15 minutes ago, just before the "rotation" went by. She had no idea they were under a tornado warning. She has eight five week old puppies that are consuming her attention.

Best wishes to everyone this evening. Be careful and aware.

Posted by: Gidgmom | August 12, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

...I think it's cool. I'll be driving home around the eastside outerloop soon and I plan on making my carpool buddy take some photos if we get some nice views.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | August 12, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

NatCast still shows YESTERDAY's forecast. Please update. Thx! :-)

Posted by: Juan-John1 | August 12, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Watching Bob Ryan and Doug Hall call the "latest" MoCo storm on the WJLA 5:00 p.m. news is akin to watching two seasoned virtuosos at work on the concert stage. They don't just fiddle around. They make weather music.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | August 12, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

the ryan/hill summer performances may be nice, but let's hope we see some virtusnowso performances this winter...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | August 12, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Sitting in office alone waiting out storm. Keep me company here guys! It's been a rough day.

Posted by: CuseFan07 | August 12, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Walter, you took the flakes right out of my mouth. I keep thinking, if only these guys were working a blizzard!

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | August 12, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

please may the power stay on, please may the power stay on...

Posted by: bgaffney491 | August 12, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

uh, sorry, but what's "AdMo"?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | August 12, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

What the hail is falling in Glover Park? It's not even supposed to be raining yet but we had some hail here, now tapering off.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | August 12, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

what bgaffney491 said!

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | August 12, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Adams Morgan! :) Don't you love all the hip new abbreviations?

Posted by: CuseFan07 | August 12, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Plan is to begin driving from DC to Augusta, GA this evening stopping for night in Fayetteville. Do you think we should be OK?

Posted by: dbs50 | August 12, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Rain tapering off just SW of Rockville now. About 0.8". Not as bad as this morning's storm or the Pepcopolypse on July 25th

Posted by: DOG3521 | August 12, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

ah....of course...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | August 12, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Got .20" of rain earlier, of course, the rest of the storms missed me. Now have 3" of rain in last in last 70 days. Just goes 2 show how some areas 30-40 miles away can get tons of rain while other areas get very little.

Posted by: VaTechBob | August 12, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

HUGE clap of thunder immediately following a little spurt of lightning - clearly right over my place - in Merrifield VA! No rain yet though. For those who remember the chocolate storm response of a couple of years ago....I'm breaking mine out now.

Posted by: --sg | August 12, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I almost envy you - we're also in Herndon (in town) but have had almost no rain today. Sprinkle in the AM, sprinkle now...

Posted by: fsd50 | August 12, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

well, the sky is falling here in falls church.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | August 12, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Latest to pass over in SS/Takoma not so bad, just some rain and a bit of thunder.

Posted by: crazer | August 12, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

For dbs50: Instead of Fayetteville, consider staying at the Whitehead Inn, a lovely B&B in nearby Wilson. It was the highlight of my last trip to Hilton Head! (And, no, I have no financial interest in the inn!)

Posted by: dottie_b | August 12, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Lotsa rain in Centreville. Nothing scary; no thunder, modest wind gusts. It is just dumping rain. Heed those flash flood warnings.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | August 12, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Very dark, rain coming down hard and some thunder rumbles in Lower Huntington. Haven't seen any lightning nor much wind though.

Posted by: kallieh | August 12, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Compared to this a.m.'s monsoon, the rain cascading down now is a shower in a saucer. However, the ground is very saturated so definitely heed flood warnings.

Power flickering; typing with one hand (flashlight in the other mitt).

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | August 12, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Got a quick 1.1" at Lake Barcroft in Falls Church. Winds weren't too bad.

Posted by: KPosty | August 12, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Thought it was done, but another batch of little bit harder rain coming through Rosslyn.

Posted by: marathoner | August 12, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

It's fascinating to watch how long it will be before anyone from this blog types the words global warming. Fascinating!

Posted by: sugarstreet | August 12, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

VaTechBob, hopefully you will get the rain that's over me in Warren County now (the steering seems to be a bit more northerly now). Just a couple tenths, but I'll take anything I can get.

Posted by: eric654 | August 12, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

"Pepcopolypse" - LOVE IT! Kudos to the one who coined that phrase.

Posted by: kathyb39 | August 12, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Arcola, VA - got about 2 inches of rain. Raining very hard for about 30-45 min before 7.

Posted by: LoudounGeek | August 12, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Gordon Peterson asked Doug Hill during the WJLA 6 p.m. newscast if is there was a correlation between last winter's blizzards and this summer's series of storms.

Doug said (and I'm paraphrasing) no and it's even premature to speculate whether it will be a warm fall, because at this point we don't really know for certain.

I think a butterfly has been flapping its wings like crazy this year, especially when the air currents are vigorously blowing Washington's way.

Maybe that butterfly's name is Nina?

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | August 12, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

JerryFloyd1, if we don't get some sort of hurricane in here this year it's probably all just coincidence.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | August 12, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

So peeved to arrive home and discover my rain gauge holder shattered, although the glass was intact, albeit on the ground. so can't measure the precip. Seems like the real storm skipped on by, but we got a big burst about 45 mins ago which has moved on ...

Posted by: weathergrrl | August 12, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

@Ian, Doug also effectively said it's all just a coincidence. While a butterfly-in nature's-stomach may not be the initial condition that created such long-term weather chaos this year, somewhere, somehow, something got way of wack this year.

Snow on the beaches of Barcelona, snow flurries in Buenos Aires, 100-degree heat in Moscow, floods in parts of Asia and Iowa, snow sharks swimming on a lawn in Falls Church, Va.

"Extreme Weather 2010"... floating soon down a Amazon near you?

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | August 12, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

guh guh glo glo glo glob

No, you can't do it!

Posted by: sugarstreet | August 12, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

For immediate real time information about advisories such as these or emergencies in your area there is a new, FREE, location-based service that specializes in emergency notifications called Nixle (

Posted by: demensi | August 17, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

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